Swede Ludvig Aberg grabs US Open lead, Bryson DeChambeau one back


Swede Ludvig Aberg grabs US Open lead, Bryson DeChambeau one back

Ludvig Aberg is looking to become the first U.S. Open champion to win in his debut since 1913
Ludvig Aberg is looking to become the first U.S. Open champion to win in his debut since 1913Reuters
Swedish sensation Ludvig Aberg (24) held the outright second round lead at the U.S. Open on Friday at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina where Bryson DeChambeau (30) was part of a group one shot back and Tiger Woods (48) missed the cut.

Masters runner-up Aberg, looking to become the first U.S. Open champion to win in his debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913, shot a one-under-par 69 to reach five under for the week on a tricky Pinehurst No. 2 layout.

That left Aberg one shot clear of DeChambeau (69), overnight co-leader Patrick Cantlay (71) and Belgian Thomas Detry (67) while Rory McIlroy (72), Tony Finau (69) and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon were all a further shot back.

"A U.S. Open is supposed to be hard. It's supposed to be tricky, and it's supposed to challenge any aspect of your game. And I feel like it's really doing that," said Aberg.

"But super fortunate with the way that things have turned out over the last couple days, and hopefully we'll be able to keep it up."

Aberg was once again near automatic finding fairways that allowed him to avoid the danger on every corner at Pinehurst No. 2 and delivered a round that included three birdies and two bogeys.

The Swede is now the first non-American to hold the outright 36-hole lead in the U.S. Open since Germany's Martin Kaymer in 2014 at Pinehurst.

Pavon, who kicked off his day from the back nine with two consecutive birdies, was level with Aberg with two holes to play but bogeyed both to slip back.

DeChambeau, who finished runner-up at last month's PGA Championship, had a roller-coaster start but got into the mix with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 before a bogey at 15 where his tee shot found a bunker.

The 2020 U.S. Open champion, one of 12 LIV Golf players in the 156-player field, capped his round in style as he tapped in for birdie after his approach leaving his approach shot 15 inches from the cup.

"I'm excited for the game that I have right now," DeChambeau said. "I feel pretty confident and ready to get after it this weekend."

McIlroy, seeking an elusive fifth major, was unable to build on his bogey-free opening round as he returned an adventurous 72 that featured near-misses and stunning par-saves, including at the par-three 17th where he chipped in for par after putting off the green.

"Overall, I felt like I did a pretty good job at keeping some of the mistakes off the scorecard," said McIlroy. "I wish I had converted a couple more of the chances."

Detry mastered Pinehurst No. 2's notoriously tricky dome-shaped greens as he made nine one-putts on the day, the last at his 12th hole where he rolled in a 22-footer.

"I feel like this week, you make a par, you gain on the field, keep moving on," said Detry. "I always seem to do better that way. It puts a little bit less pressure on my putting. When I have a birdie chance, it's like a bonus."

Masters champion Scheffler, who entered the year's third major as the clear favourite, was unable to take advantage of quality iron shots but made the cut right on the number after a 74 left him at five over on the week.

"This golf course can be unpredictable at times, and maybe it got the better of me the last couple days," said Scheffler.

Tiger Woods, who accepted a special exemption to play this week, missed the cut for a second consecutive major after a three-over-par 73 left him at seven over on the week.

"It was probably the highest score I could have shot today," a frustrated Woods said before adding it "may or may not be" his last U.S. Open start.

Among the other players who missed the cut were world number five Viktor Hovland, 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, who this week was looking to complete the career Grand Slam of golf's four majors.

Former British Open champion Francesco Molinari looked about set to head home until he became the first player in U.S. Open history with an ace on his 36th hole to make the cut right on the number.

"I don't even know what to say. Just incredible," Molinari said


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